Ask Lafeber

Question:

July 5, 2022

Food in bed


I have a sun conure who suddenly started bring food into his bed. He is about 5 years old. Why?


Answer:

Hi Colette,

The problem is what you think of as a bed, he thinks of as a nest. And a single bird has no need for a nest. They do not have a bed in the wild and a nest is not a bed – they use it one time a year, during breeding season. Once breeding season is over, they leave the nest and do not return until the next year. The rest of the time they sleep in trees with their flock.

You might think, what is the harm? If this is one of the soft bird huts/tents, conures have been known to pick at these and eat small fibers. These fibers do not digest and over time they compact the bird’s digestive system and he will die. There is no way to remove the fibers once they are consumed. Since to him this is a nest, then what it can do is put him in a constant hormonal state. This will end up affecting his behavior – he is likely to get aggressive and stop wanting to be handled. As he continues to feel the urge to mate, but has no mate, he can continue to strain and end up with a prolapse, which can be repaired with surgery, but generally keeps recurring and becomes a chronic health problem.

So it’s best to get rid of this bed/nest. Get him some new toys to keep him busy. Start some foraging activities with him. There are many ways to keep your bird happy and busy and keep their minds off of hormones and mating.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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